CEL Published Paper: The Bipartisan Path to Effective Lawmaking
The paper “The Bipartisan Path to Effective Lawmaking” was recently published in the Journal of Politics by University of Chicago Press. Authored by Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) Co-Directors Craig Volden Alan Wiseman, and Laurel Harbridge-Yong – Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University and CEL Faculty Affiliate – the paper confronts the puzzle of why bipartisanship is alive and well in Congress, despite notable increases in party polarization and rising primary election threats. The authors found the answer is remarkably simple—bipartisanship unambiguously helps individual legislators who seek to advance their policy goals. They show that members of the House and Senate from the 93rd to 114th Congresses (1973–2016) who attract a larger portion of their bill cosponsors from the opposing party are much more successful at lawmaking. They also show these patterns to be remarkably robust to both majority-party and minority-party lawmakers, under changing legislative and electoral conditions and over time. Moreover, a clear path to attracting bipartisan cosponsors involves reciprocity, making cosponsoring others’ bills across party lines attractive.
To learn more, read the full report here.